Russia

RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING: We Know What Paul Manafort's Kremlin Spy Boy Did In 2016

NO COLLUSION!

Oh hi! Big news in this post! Lots of big news! Read all of this post!

President Joe Biden's Treasury Department announced Thursday a whole raft of sanctions aimed at punishing the Russian Federation for attacking our elections in both 2016 and 2020 and our allies' elections; for all its hacking, including the massive SolarWinds hack that hit tons of government agencies and Fortune 500 companies; and for targeting journalists and dissidents, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny. And so on and so forth!

The Treasury Department sanctioned six Russian tech companies that "support Russian intelligence services." They directly blamed the SolarWinds hack on the SVR Russian intelligence agency, and named the FSB intelligence agency as responsible for the poisoning of Navalny. They're kicking 10 Russian "diplomats" out of Washington. And in direct response to Russia's 2020 election attacks, they are sanctioning "a total of 32 entities and individuals involved in the influence campaign as well as other acts of disinformation."

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Military

Joe Biden Ending Forever War In Afghanistan

It's like he doesn't even know what 'forever' means!

Yesterday, President Joe Biden announced that the USA's longest war will finally end, with all US troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led to US "involvement" there in the first place. Biden said that after two decades of death and misery, it's time to end this:

"We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result," said Biden, who delivered his address from the White House Treaty Room, the same location where President George W. Bush announced the start of the war. "I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth."

Here's video of Biden's announcement:


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WonkTV

LIVE: Intel Chiefs Testify To Senate, Probably Won't Even Get In Trouble With Biden Afterward

It's the annual Worldwide Threat Hearing!

Back in the olden days of the Trump administration, the memories of which we are actively trying to repress, a thing would happen almost every year. All his intel chiefs would go sit in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and do the annual Worldwide Threats hearing, and they would say "Russia did it" and "Russia is bad" and "They attacked the election for Trump in 2016, gonna do it again in 2020." And the former president would have DAYS UPON DAYS of conniptions, because these awful people he hired insisted on saying out loud that his benefactors in Russia were bad.

It didn't happen in 2020, because Donald Trump's moron Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was being a dick. He didn't want there to be an open session, where the American people could hear about the actual worldwide threats. Is this because they were running a con trying to get people to think 'GIIIIIIINA was stealing the election for Joe Biden, and an open hearing on the intel community's actual assessments would not have been helpful? Possibly maybe!

Well this year it's happening again, albeit under different circumstances. We have a new president, Old Handsome Joe Biden, and neither Russia nor Iran nor 'GIIIIIIIINA helped steal the election for him. The annual Worldwide Threat Assessment just came out, and it's a doozy this time:

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